Album: Kevin Ayers, Songs for Insane Times: Anthology 1969-1980 (Harvest)
Friday 05 September 2008
Until his mid-Seventies relocation to the South of France, Kevin Ayers was a rock equivalent of Zelig, witness to many an iconic counter-cultural event.
As bassist in The Soft Machine, he toured America supporting Jimi Hendrix; as a solo artist, he gave Mike Oldfield his first break; and when flower-power slipped seamily into glam-rock, Kevin was there playing a landmark show alongside John Cale, Brian Eno and Nico. His credentials, then, were never in doubt. However, his own solo output didn't quite live up to expectations, save for a few gems such as "Song From the Bottom of a Well", "Shouting in a Bucket Blues" and "Caribbean Moon". All are included in this four-disc retrospective, its three discs of studio material topped up with a live show from 1973.
Personally, I'd have whittled down the material following 1974's The Confessions of Dr Dream, in favour of some (any!) representation from his Soft Machine years, but you can't have everything.
Pick of the album:'Shouting in a Bucket Blues', 'Song From the Bottom of a Well', 'Caribbean Moon'
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 4 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
- 5 Cocaine and cannabis haul hidden in Vatican car seized by French police
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in new Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Downton Abbey: Liam Neeson wants to be a stableman in period drama
Star Wars 7 leaked set photo of Adam Driver changes everything
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without the influential comedy series
The Walking Dead season 5 synopsis is full of spoilers and existential questions
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'